"Are you ready?" Ramsey Aburdene demands of the assembled buoyant audience. "Are you ready to go to North Korea?"

The fans cheer at The Dunes in Washington's Columbia Heights neighborhood. They are ready, if not to go to North Korea, then to see Aburdene and his two musical proteges go to North Korea in two weeks to make a rap music video on a party bus.

This journey began in August, when a fundraising plea appeared on Kickstarter featuring "Pacman" and "Peso," two local young men. Their goal? Six thousand dollars, plane tickets to the most repressive regime in the world, and then fame and glory. The Washington Post published a story on this endeavor, which people found equal parts quixotic and bizarre, optimistic and idiotic. Even earnest supporters wondered whether the trip could possibly come to pass.